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Town Talk 8-14-10

Teens on mission help many in North Country

Hundreds of teenagers belonging to the YouthWorks Christian mission organization have been at work this summer in Northern Warren County sprucing up homes of local people in need.

Over the last seven weeks, crews of teens, 70 or so per week, have been painting homes, cleaning up yards and beautifying municipal properties, plus accomplishing minor home repairs, fix-up chores and weatherization.

Also, they've been running a children's program in Baker's Mills and visiting the elderly in nursing homes, plus accomplishing some community service work. They concluded their work in the region Aug. 5.

The teenagers are part of the YouthWorks organization based in Minnesota, which annually serves about 39,000 high-school-age youth from the U.S. and Canada.

Getting to learn about the local culture while building interpersonal relationships is a big part of the program's purpose, mission leaders said.

Warrensburg has hosted a group from YouthWorks for the past several summers.

This year, the youth had fix-up projects in Warrensburg, Lake George, Thurman, Pottersville, and Chestertown, plus North Creek, Bakers Mills, and Johnsburg.

Andrew Northrop, one of the site directors in Warrensburg, said the beauty of the environment in Northern Warren County served as an inspiration.

"I love the creation around here," he said, noting he is accustomed to missions in large cities like Detroit.

Teresa Whalen of Warrensburg Beautification said the YouthWorks volunteers built a rest room for the Warrensburg town park on River Street that hosts the Riverfront Farmer's Market. The rest room, which resembles a rustic outhouse, was begun by last year's YouthWorks crews and was finished this year, she said.

The teenagers also cleared a tremendous amount of brush between the Riverfront Park and the Schroon River, so patrons of the Farmer's Market could enjoy views of the river rushing by, she said.

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